Cape Town Test: India make slow progress in first session

India picked up four wickets in the second session even when South Africa scored 123 runs in the period

Dale Steyn marked his long-awaited return to worldwide cricket with a wicket as India ended day one of the first Test three down, losing Virat Kohli cheaply after Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped bowl South Africa out. Bhuvneshwar Kumar made the most of the conditions and took three early wickets.

India lost three wickets in the 11 overs they faced on Friday evening, and considering the home side's top order was dismissed in the first five overs on Friday it seemed a similar slide awaited on Saturday morning. Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla were the victims of Bhuvneshwar's controlled and accurate bowling.

Counter-attacking batting, led by aggressive half-centuries by De Villiers and captain Faf du Plessis, and some wayward bowling by India enabled South Africa to make a reasonable total on a lively pitch before the South African fast bowlers struck.

However, De Villiers and Du Plessis came to the rescue with a 114-run partnership, during which De Villiers surpassed his fifty.

Philander ended up making 23 before he was cleaned up by Mohammed Shami.

Instead, South Africa toiled for 17.2 overs and more than an hour before they claimed the only wicket of the session - Kagiso Rabada trapped Rohit Sharma in front in the eight over before lunch.

Vernon Philander had Murali Vijay caught at gully and four balls later Dale Steyn, playing his first Test match in more than a year, caught Shikhar Dhawan off his own bowling when Dhawan's attempted pull steepled high into the air. The De Villiers-Du Plessis partnership was followed by a sixth wicket stand of 60 off 54 balls from Quinton de Kock and Philander, and there were useful contributions from the tailenders.

Kumar was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Ashwin took two and Bumrah, Pandya and Shami chipped in with one wicket apiece.

South Africa host India in three tests this month with the next two to be played in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Pujara finished on five off 18 balls, which included a solitary boundary, while Rohit has yet to get off the mark.

The match against India was Steyn's first Test since November 2016, and only his fifth since November 2015.

One must say India should have done better thereafter having found themselves into South Africa's lower order with little trouble.

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